It's three months next week. We've been married a quarter year, and ridiculously, I haven't written about our big day yet.
I've documented the days leading up to; told you about the wedding favours I made; my chavtastic hen party. I was also thrown my very own stag do by my guy friends, which I told you about too. All but my actual wedding day.
Weddings are epic things, there are so many parts, plans and emotions that make up the thing. Everything culminates together and peaks at one point of the day, where you realise, "Sweet Christ. This is happening this is happening this is happening." For me, that was as I was about to climb out of the car with my father and head down the aisle.
But let's rewind. I am now sharing our special day because I actually have real photos now. Yes, yes I do. And although three months have passed, the day, emotions, feelings and love from that day is still extremely fresh.
One more thing before I get started: I've never put pictures of my face up onto this blog before. Not even when I used to be a popular read in South Africa, when I was selling a book and trying to be my own publicist. I'm a crap own-publicist. Hilariously I am an actual publicist, of sorts, for a brand/company. Which I do a much better job at than being my own.
It's just been my thing. No face pictures on blog. It's stupid, because now there's Instagram, FB and all these other things where selfies are glorified and embraced, and it's not 2006 anymore.
(Let's ignore the link to my YouTube channel on the right for a sec.)
That changes today, enter mon visage. In a white dress. With my handsome British husband.
So, after that extremely long introduction, here is a little taste of our wedding day. And breathe. I'm nervous. Faces make things a lot more personal.
The night before, we had dinner and drinks organised for everyone staying in the Midlands for the weekend. I woke up at around 5:30am in the farmhouse I was staying at with my family, having slept really well for the first time in a week.
"OMG I'm getting married today." For reference, we wed at Cranford Country Lodge.
I bought my dress in Wimbledon, after oscillating between two dresses for weeks. This dress had all sorts of stuff on it - beading and a white band. I had all this stripped off to the original beautiful tulle delight it is. I wanted simplicity; something extremely classic and elegant. I personalised it with the belt, from J.Crew in the States.
Shoes are Melissa's Viveinne Westwood collection, bought on t'Internet from South Korea.
The jewellery I did wear were my great grandmother's earrings, and my grandmother's bracelet. I also wore my signet ring with my grandfather's initials.
My makeup lady was due to start doing my bridesmaids faces at 7:30am, so we all headed to the Dairy and to be honest, did a lot of hanging around. You do this when you're getting married. Read magazines, talk about how nervous you're NOT getting, drink tons of tea, while hair and makeup get done. It was the best morning ever for me. The week leading up to all this had been so busy and frantic.
This morning, I was chilled. I got to spend time with my bridesmaids, mum, and people popped in during the course of the morning to say hi. We drank tea, and popped the champagne, sat on the stoep and had coffee and breakfast.
By the time it came to getting my makeup done, I was starting to get quite nervous.
(OK, fucking nervous.)
I look calm here. Let me assure you that I am not.
Mum gave me her beautiful 1920s vintage night dress-slash-dressing gown she picked up during one of her vintage shopping expeditions. How awesome is it? If we ever renew our vows, might just do it in the dressing gown. Seriously.
My wonderful bridesmaids were such troopers; so patient, kind and fun. Which is why I picked them. They've all been my friends for years and years and years and know me so well. They also still manage to love me despite it.
Their dresses and shoes basically epitomised the colours of our wedding - antique pink with a touch of red. Just for fun.
This was taken about 5 seconds after I had a full on panic attack.
Dad and I had a short drive to the chapel, but that time was excruciating for both of us, if we're honest. I'd started to hyperventilate, and he was emotional. So he came up with a game plan.
Dad: Right. We need a plan. We need to talk about something really boring and distracting otherwise we're never going to make it.
Peas: OK quickly. What can we talk about, I'm starting to freak out.
[Breathing is getting shallow, sweating under the layers of dress, which doesn't really end until I get out of it at 2:30am the next morning]
Dad: I know, storage. Let's talk about storage.
Peas: ........ok...as in computer storage or...furniture storage.
Dad: Let's start with IT storage solutions. My USB stick holds only about 32 gigs. What about yours?
By now, we are careening towards the chapel, and I'm about to make the biggest promise of my life, in front of a church full of people that have traveled from all over the world, a priest, and my future husband. And we were discussing gigabytes. Genius.
But then, I kind of launched into a full-on panic attack as my bridesmaids opened the car door at the chapel, and I saw the Brit's back standing at the altar. The side of his little face, also etched with nervousness and looking so handsome and dapper.
"Say something funny. Someone say something funny, I'm about to have a heart attack."
Luckily E came to the rescue with a joke about about a dog or something and the moment passed.
Phew. This was it!
But Dad and I still had tears of emotion in our eyes as we walked down the aisle; I just focused my eyeballs straight onto my Brit who looked like he'd been told I was dead, but was actually alive and he was seeing me for the first time. So many emotions; love, excitement, nerves, everything. We clutched each others hands so hard the entire ceremony, and I knew we were doing this side by side and it was all happening.
And there we are, saying our vows. The priest knew we aren't a religious couple, (Yeah...I decided not to mention that I'm a complete non-believer, for the sake of tradition and ceremony....) He was great though, made us laugh and gave us some heartfelt, real advice during his sermon.
It was such a poignant feeling, suddenly you realise you are bound, and you're in it together. You're a a two person A Team. Whether you like it or not. And while you don't know everything, you know you have a partner in crime. Who loves you and you love back. It's such a chance thing, and here we were, and it all made sense in that moment.
We iz married now innit?
Oh yes we are!
We had a string trio booked to do all our processional music and hymns and two pitched up only (a small thing, and no one except us noticed obviously.)
Once all the very serious stuff is out of the way, crazy love and happiness just take over and you're ready to pardy. But first you have to take lots of pictures. Posing and doing funny things. You'll be happy you did it though.
It was the most beautiful warm, sunny day in the Midlands. We were so lucky. The light for the picture, through the chapel, on the fields and around the lake was just perfect. The Brit's little nieces were our flower girls and at 6 and 2, were extremely patient with the process.
April is a brilliant time to get married - not too hot, the evenings are crisp (nice for the Europeans), and the leaves are only just starting to turn.
We were in heaven, truth be told.
While everyone went up to drink cocktails, eat cucumber sandwiches and play a spot of croquet on the lake, we had half an hour to ourselves for photos. It was great. We took it all in and managed to have the "We're married, we've done it, we're married!" moments together. Like above. Under my veil.
Look at his little face. These two pictures bring tears to my eyes. I married such a little cutie.
Played the fool with our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Feedback from many of my male friends was that word on the street is my bridesmaids were the hottest they'd ever seen.
They're well fit. What can I say, ma bitches are gorgeous gals. Fuck I miss them.
We cut our cake early on. We thought the cake would help blot the alcohol, and we had, like, 5 desserts already. We wanted it to be eaten. So we cut it by the lake.
Peas: WE'RE MARRIED! WHY IS MY CHAMPAGNE HAND EMPTY, HUSBAND!
Brit: BECAUSE I'M HOLDING YOUR SHOES, WIFE!
This is my favourite fun picture.
My dress consisted of 5 layers of tulle and that large particle/loop thingie that holds it all up. Lots of bugs got stuck in the layers during the photo shoot. Grasshoppers, flies, mosquitoes. My dress was a giant mobile mosquito net.
Here are my bridesmaids and husband checking - and releasing - something that had found its way into my underpants. Having people do shit like this for you at your beck and call is really nice.
Lap it up. Especially when there's a fucking creature in your bloomers.
Having a well-earned drink, feeling the tingle of being newly married, on a log far away from the crowds.
We chose 'Everywhere' by Fleetwood Mac as our song. Not too cheesy-ballady, or predictable, something fun, but also fitted into our 'vaab.' Our wedding theme was based on travel, as much of our relationship had evolved over trips together and meeting in various places in the world, so the lyrics to 'Everywhere' made sense. We also both grew up on the song, and it had happy memories for us.
(Our entrance song was 'Big Pimpin' by Jay Z. Meant to be funny.)
After weeks of perfecting our dance - a rhumba - we completely fucked it up on wedding night. My dress made things confusing, but we laughed it off and did our own thing. About 30 hours of dance tuition wasted, but what the hey.
That's my mum there in the pink. She looked so beautiful. Next to my aunt and the Dove.
Father and daughter dance was 8000 times more successful, as Dad took the lead and swung me around and generally made it look extremely jazzy and sophisticated. It was to a song from my childhood, 'Opus 1,' a big band piece that he used to play and dance with me to when I was a little girl.
Bouquet tossing. Look at all those (single) hotties!
A non-professional shot. Looks like I have a huge mutant hand growing off my arm.
We supplied a bunch of geeky glasses for people to use and pass around the dance floor. (I love geeky glasses. I own a lot of geeky glasses. Both prescription and non. We are both nerds, so it makes sense.)
This was deep into the night. Having a moment to Rhythm Is A Dancer. Or Usher's Love In This Club.
Told our DJ to pretend it was still the 90s. It was like he transformed time. He was brilliant. And so were my moves in the giant dress, IMHO.
It was, literally, the best day of our lives. Seeing all those little faces we know and love all in one room, everyone is there for you. And you're all starry eyed, hearts pulsing-out-of-eyeballs for each other.
I wish we could do it all over again. Maybe we will, on a tropical island when we're old and wrinkly. Just for fun.